* Ellaktor leads Alysj joint venture in Qatar deal
* Joint venture to build subway line in Doha
* Greece's biggest builder expands abroad to offset local
ATHENS, April 24 Greece's biggest construction
group Ellaktor said on Thursday it signed a 3.2
billion euro ($4.4 billion) contract to build a subway line in
Ellaktor, which has been expanding its foreign business to
cope with an economic crisis at home, said in an Athens bourse
filing it owned a 32 percent stake in joint venture Alysj, which
won the "Gold Line Underground" project in Qatar's capital city
Construction of the 32-kilometre long tube is expected to be
completed in 2018, Ellaktor said, boosting the company's
construction backlog of currently 3 billion euros. The firm did
not reveal its joint venture partners in the Qatar project.
Foreign operations, mainly in the Balkans and the Middle
East, account for about a third of the company's backlog.
Once a major driver of the Greek economy, construction has
slumped by more than 75 percent due to austerity policies
imposed on bailed-out Greece by its international lenders.
But the prospects of Greece's construction industry are
improving after public finances stabilised and the country
returned to bond markets earlier this month.
Titan, the country's biggest cement maker, said it
expected demand for cement to grow this year for the first time
since 2006, on the back of public investment.
Ellaktor is participating in a 7.6 billion euro toll road
project that Greece unfroze in recent months.
($1 = 0.7231 Euros)
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Harry Papachristou
and Elaine Hardcastle)